A very interesting post by David Frum, in which the former Bush speech-writer heavily criticized the Republican leadership for tactics that led to a huge Democratic victory on health care. Frum pointed out that Republicans, by stoking and playing to the anger, left its leaders in a position where a real deal on health care was just not possible.
We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.
There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?
Frum’s indictment is something that the politically wise class of GOP leaders have long recognized, and that is that a Party led by talkmasters must be doomed to failure. No question that those talkmasters whipped folks into a frenzy over healthcare. But those same independents that have soured on Democrats will not likely buy into the Beck/Limbaugh program for very long. And new polling has already shown an uptick in voter support for health care reform. The Republicans pushed all of their chips in on health care. President Obama now sits with that really big pile of chips in his hands.
Read the Frum post here.